Are you facing any Forest River RV electrical problems? Although these motorhomes are built to last for many years, getting on the road exposes them to elements, causing connections to rust or break. Keeping your electrical systems in perfect working condition will guarantee a trouble-free camping trip without sudden power outages that can ruin your trip.
I have used my Forest River RV for over five years and had my share of electrical issues, including short circuits, battery issues, overloaded circuits, short circuits, and more. Using my experiences, I can help you uncover the common RV electrical problems and recommend the best solutions. So pull out your toolbox and let’s quickly look at these Forest River RV problems below.
Table of Contents
What’s Powering My RV?
Forest River RVs are fitted with two distinct electrical systems: a 12-volt Direct current (DC) system that draws power from the battery source and a 120-volt alternating current (AC) connected to a generator or power outlet. In addition, the RV comes with a generator.
When plugged in, the power converter in the Forest River RV changes the 120-volt AC power into the 12-volt DC power. The delivered 12-volt DC power supports the microwave, wall outlets, and roof air conditioner unit.
Forest River RV Electrical Problems and Solutions Table at the Glance
Over time and with continued use, your Forest River RV may experience varying electrical problems. Here, I will highlight the various RV electrical problems and their solutions in the table below:
How to Solve Them
Oven not Turning On:
Inspect wiring, check and replace the heating element
Refrigerator not functioning:
Check the power supply, replace the thermostat
AC doesn’t run:
Reset breaker, check and substitute capacitor
No power supply in the RV:
Ensure proper connection, inspect the power inlet
Redistribute load, tighten all connections
Circuit breaker panel issues:
Reset circuit breakers, check and replace damaged panel
Wires coming loose:
Tighten connections, substitute damaged wires
Inspect for overheating, repair wires, replace wires
8 Forest River Electrical Problems and Fixes
Anything running on electricity is bound to experience electrical issues sooner or later. Let’s quickly look into these issues and their fixes below:
1. Oven Isn’t Turning On
One main Forest River RV electrical issue I have faced is the oven not turning on. When this happens, it might be because the oven is not getting adequate power to run correctly. Usually, the RV’s oven can only work when connected to a 120-volt power supply.
2. The Refrigerator is Not Functioning
Another electrical issue I have experienced with my Forest River RV, and many users also complain about is the refrigerator not functioning.
3. AC Doesn’t Run
Nothing is as bad as having your air conditioner malfunction during your RVing adventure. Having experienced AC issues on my Forest River RV, I can attest that the air conditioner usually stops running because the 120V power system fails to get to the rooftop AC unit.
4. No Power Supply in the RV
I have faced the problem of having no power supply in my Forest River RV several times. In most cases, this problem may be caused by:
- A power blackout;
- The breaker may have tripped;
- A blown-up fuse;
- Issues with your battery or inverter;
- A short in your electrical system.
5. Outlets Malfunctioning
Malfunctioning of outlets is another electrical issue I have encountered with my Forest River motor house. You may confirm that all your appliances are working, but the outlets are not. This issue may be caused mainly by:
- GFCI malfunctions.
- Defective Converter breakers.
6. Circuit Breaker Panel Not Working
Another problem I have encountered severally is circuit breaker malfunctions. The breaker monitors the circuit and shuts down immediately in case of an overload.
7. Wires Coming Loose
Wires play an important role as they guarantee the optimum conductance of all RV appliances by supplying enough power. In addition, faulty cables can be hazardous and must always be in perfect condition.
8. Unpleasant Smell
There was a time when my Forest River RV coach emitted an unpleasant smell, and I never knew the problem was caused by malfunctioning electrical components or systems. Issues with the RV’s battery may cause an unpleasant odor. When the battery is tripped or overcharged, it will emit sulfur fumes, resulting in a rotten-egg smell in the RV.
Instead of messing with electricity without knowing what you are doing, try resetting the GFCI or breaker and call the technician if the RV electrical problems are unresolved. This will prevent serious injuries or even death because of a simple mistake.
The Tools You Need To Diagnose Electrical Problems
When I first acquired my Forest River RV, I never used to carry tools that could help me deal with minor electrical issues. However, over time, I learned the necessary diagnostic tools I needed and included them in my toolbox during all my RVing escapades. Here are a few must-have tools that will help you in troubleshooting and diagnosing electrical problems:
This device has two probes and can help you confirm whether your amperage is at the correct levels. In addition, they can help you accurately check DC current, Diode, Resistance, and AC/DC Voltage. Spin the dial on the front of the multimeter and use the probes to diagnose where the problem lies.
Although similar to a multimeter, they are separate tools. You must choose the volts to get precise readings when using a voltmeter.
3. Continuity or Circuit Tester
This device consists of a light fitted onto a probe. The alligator clip is located on the other side, and you must touch both ends along an electrical path. If the light illuminates, it means your circuit is complete.
4. Misc. Testers
Although different miscellaneous testers are available on the market, it’s best to have them in your RV toolbox. Most of these devices test voltage and may be helpful when facing RV electrical issues. They include:
- Wand Voltage Tester: The electrical tester should be near connectors and wires to test the voltage range.
- Digital Clamp Tester: This tester is used for advanced electrical work but is better than a multimeter. It has a current sensor and also serves as a multimeter.
- Non-Contact Voltage Tester or Inductance Tester: This device provides an easy way of testing whether the voltage is present at an outlet, light, switches, electrical wiring, or breakers.
- Solenoid Voltage Tester: This tester is used in testing polarity and voltage. Although it is much easier to use and cheaper to purchase, it may not be as precise as a multimeter.
- Plug-in Circuit Analyzer: This device is meant for three-pronged outlets, not two. The easy-to-use circuit tester is used in testing ground outlets.
- Neon Voltage Tester: Although it’s a small device, it can tell you whether the voltage is present or absent and whether the outlet is correctly grounded. However, it won’t show you how much voltage there is, and you would require a voltmeter.
Users’ Experience with Forest River RV Electrical Problems
Most user experiences on the Forest River RV electrical issues were positive and many users got the help they needed to resolve the problem from fellow forum members or the company’s customer care representatives. Below I will highlight a few user experiences from Forest River RV owners:
How Do I Reset My Forest River RV Power?
To reset a Forest River RV power, turn off the power and disconnect all electrical appliances. You should reset the circuit breaker inside the RV and GFCI outlets and turn the power supply on.
How Do You Find An Electrical Short In An RV?
To detect an electrical short in an RV, you can use a DC clump meter alongside the wires. When the clump meter is positioned after the short circuit, your meter will show 0 amperes.
How Do I Know If A Fuse Is Blown In My RV?
To determine if your RV’s fuse is blown or not, you can use a test light or multimeter. By using these inexpensive devices, you can confirm the situation of your RV’s fuses.
These are just some of the Forest River RV electrical problems you might face during your camping journeys. Awareness of these issues can help you prepare to deal with them in case they arise. Whether you are just starting out on your RVing journey or are an experienced camper, having the knowledge and peace of mind about your RV’s electrical safety will ensure you and your family are safe and happy.
If you have doubts or feel uncomfortable about resolving these RV electrical problems yourself, it’s best to consult a qualified electrician to guarantee your safety and that of your RV. A professional technician will get your Forest River motorhome back up and running within the shortest time possible.
Did I miss any Forest River electrical problems? Let me know in the comment section below.
I`m a current Law Enforcement Officer working within the Counterterrorism Bureau in New York State. I have been Camping for over 20 years. My styles of camping include tent, car, truck, van, and RV travel trailer. I have a YouTube channel where I teach all types of camping with an entertaining method: https://youtube.com/@TheSmallsRVAdventures